Friday, July 16, 2010


Inception feels like many other movies I've seen before. And in so doing, feels like nothing I've ever seen before.

It's a little bit Matrix. A little bit Shutter Island. A little bit 2001. A little bit Vertigo. A little bit On Her Majesty's Secret Service. A little bit Royal Wedding. A little bit Salvador Dali. And more than a little bit M.C. Escher. And it's a lot Christopher Nolan. If he's not the best director we've got, he's certainly the one with the most vibrant imagination.

I'm not even going to attempt to describe the plot. To do so would be sheer folly. And it's not really necessary anyway. The plot isn't truly what makes the movie run. More than anything else, Inception is a remarkable sensory experience.

There will be some who will throw up their hands and exclaim "I don't get it." This is not a movie for people whose minds easily wander. This is not a movie for people who like their entertainment to be as disposable as their popcorn bags, It's not for people who need to be spoon-fed explanations, and it's certainly not for people who can't stand endings that don't tie everything up in a bow.

For others, however, who can open their minds and widen their eyes, Inception is the dream that keeps on dazzling. It has one of the most amazing senses of push-pull I've ever experienced at the movies. It confounds and it correlates. It delights and it dismays. It disorients and delineates. It stupefies and it stabilizes. It contracts and compacts. But whatever it does, it always amazes.

It may seem insane or irresponsible to crank out a review at 3:30 in the morning just after seeing it. But there was no other way. I had to get my immediate thoughts out in what  you're reading. I had to do my best to capture the rush of those two and a half hours while it was still racing through my mind.

To say it's the best movie of the year really can't do it justice. Inception demonstrates more potently than any film in recent memory the wonderful power that only motion pictures can wield. It's the most movie movie of the year. When you see it in a theater - and if you love movies you must - you will see, and feel, what I mean.



David M. Allen M.D. said...

Spoiler alert!

The top at the ends looks like it may or may not falter. However, did you notice that the kids haven't grown any older since he last saw them and that his father-in-law somehow knew to greet him at the airport? My guess is that he's still in a dream.

jimmy said...

I absolutely love films that make you think, I hate endings that wrap everything up in a bow, I hate movies that spoon feed information and I never go to movies just to have a throw away experience.

But I thought Inception was an overblown, pretentious piece of crap. It tries so hard to be clever and smart that it is laughably stupid. The character development is fatally neglected, the complex plot is fatally complex, and the director was fatally into himself. So sure he was much smarter than everyone in his audience, he obviously thought he could hide all of his nonsensical short cuts behind a mask of pricey special effects. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Unfortunately, because Hollywood has successfully pounded mediocrity into our brains and lowered our expectations so much, this rhinestone will be called a diamond and assuredly get a Best Picture nomination.

It is the dark days of American cinema.